Lake Mary based AAA has announced that The 2015 Tesla Model S 70D it it’s “Green” Car of the Year. The Tesla is featured with 80 other green vehicles in the 2016 AAA Green Car Guide, a report published annually by the largest member of the AAA federation – the Automobile Club of Southern California and its Automotive Research Center.
AAA’s top three green vehicles, all electrics, were announced today. The BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf SEL Premium rounded out the top three.
“The Tesla Model S 70D has a 240-mile range, room for five, excellent power and steering, and fast charge capability,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Add sleek styling, great acceleration and an air of sophistication that separates it from other alternative-fueled vehicles and you see why the Model S 70D was our top vehicle this year.”
2016 AAA Green Car of the Year and Top 5 points:
1. 2015 Tesla Model S 70D
2. 2014 Hatchback BMW i3
3. 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf SEL Premium
4. 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Premium
5. 2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium
Each of 13 evaluations was scored on 0-10 points. Scores were totaled to determine top vehicles. The guide summarizes vehicle specifications, test scores, data and observations and lists its strengths and weaknesses. Each year, the research center tracks significant changes to a vehicle from model year to model year. If no significant changes were made to the power train in 2016, a prior model year’s results were used. Top green vehicle winners received AAA’s environmentally-friendly trophy made of sustainable bamboo and recycled aluminum.
“The research center’s evaluators divided the vehicles into six categories, crunched the numbers, and identified winners in each category,” added Nielsen. “They also recognized winners by price,” he said. “The Tesla took three awards – Best Green Car over $50,000, the large car category winner and the AAA Green Car of the Year. In other categories, the best green car under $30,000 was the Mazda 3S Grand Touring, and the best green pickup is the Ford F-150 Supercab Lariat.”
To help car buyers and enthusiasts looking for the latest information on fuel-efficient vehicles and low-emission technology, the sixth annual AAA guide reviews battery electric vehicles, compressed natural gas-powered (CNG) vehicles, clean diesels, hybrids, partial zero emission vehicles (PZEVs), and vehicles with high fuel economy. Vehicles were grouped into categories according to size, body type and three price ranges. They were scored by the Los Angeles-based Automotive Research Center in real-world evaluations (acceleration, handling, ride comfort, turning, cargo capacity, etc.). The report also contains in-depth information about green technologies, vehicle safety and advanced driver assistance systems.